Brow Beat

Rapper Accused of Burglarizing His Own Airbnb Rental

STEFisDOPE and friends were feeling their Airbnb.

The rapper and producer StefIsDope and his friends couldn’t believe how nice the home they’d rented on Airbnb was. There was a huge backyard out back and a beautiful lawn in front of the suburban Atlanta house. The owner of the property was an interior decorator, and Stef, whose real name is Stefan Grant, could see the evidence of her expertise. There were furs on the beds.

Grant, who is 23 and was born in Jamaica, had flown into Atlanta from Washington DC for the A3C Music Festival & Conference; he was scheduled to play a show  on Friday at Gallery EAV. Four of his friends had driven up, separately, from Miami.

The group spent the morning hanging out and planning their setlist for tonight’s concert. Then, around noon, something happened that was both surprising and not surprising at all: A pair of police officers appeared on the deck, saying that a neighbor had reported a robbery in progress.

“My boy Xali was out on the deck chilling, and then I heard him be like, ‘Yo come to the back!’” Grant told me by phone. “I thought he had rolled a blunt and we were about to go smoke! So I walk out all jolly, but then I see two huge cops standing there.”  

“The cops said, ‘Yeah, we got a call from the neighbors saying you guys were breaking into the house and robbing the place,’” Grant said. “Our eyes all got huge—we were like, ‘No, this is an Airbnb! The owner knows we’re here, we’ve been in contact with her!”

The officers absorbed this information and took in the scene. “They looked around for a bit, they saw everyone was in, you know, cozy clothes, and they figured out, ‘OK, these kids ain’t lying.’”

At that point Grant—whose most recent video is “Errything Lit”, which you can watch here—asked if he could take a selfie with one of the officers and put it on Snapchat, and everyone had a good laugh about it; Grant also tweeted the picture, which has since gone viral.

“It wasn’t totally unexpected,” Grant said. “We’re black kids in this Leave it to Beaver neighborhood, you know?”

Later on, Grant and his friends met the neighbor who had called the police. “The neighbor lady was like, you know, ‘Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you, but we didn’t know about the Airbnb stuff, and there’ve been a lot of robberies in the neighborhood.’ I guess she had called the lady who owns the house but she didn’t pick up the phone, so that’s when she called the cops.”

Grant reacted to the episode with good humor, posting videos on Twitter featuring the police officers as well as a second neighbor who came to check on the house and walked through the door without asking. “I smile and laugh at everything,” he said. “Not much makes me mad. Or, actually, I shouldn’t say not much makes me mad—I just expect this kind of shit to happen, so I kind of laugh it off.”

He said he is flying back to Washington DC tomorrow; he bought a plane ticket for early in the morning so he’d be back in time to walk in the Million Man March, which will mark the 20th anniversary of the peaceful demonstration held on the National Mall in 1995.